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How to Take Your Event To The Next Level Presentation by Kerri King, Ec.D, CEcD.

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How to Take Your Event To The Next Level Presentation by Kerri King, Ec.D, CEcD.

  2. 2. 2 Define your outcome
  3. 3. 3 Plan
  4. 4. 4 Collaboration
  5. 5. 5 Promotion
  6. 6. 6 Execution
  8. 8. 8 Measurement
  9. 9. 9 Amplify
  10. 10. 10 Gratitude
  11. 11. 11 THANK YOU

Notas do Editor

  • Good evening! Thank you congratulations…

    I’m so excited to be here with you tonight to celebrate small business in Durham. I have owned and operated a number or small businesses in Durham Region, and now that I am in in government, I realize how important that work actually is. Small business is the heart our economy.

    Now, I noticed on the promo that our friend Sue Sutcliffe was generously calling me “The Event Marketing Queen”….so I thought it might be fun to start by telling you a story about my biggest failure in event promotion.

    (Take a breath)

    It was my birthday. 1993. I had been successfully owning and operating a nightclub, called The Moon Room for about 9 months.
    Indie bands and alternative rock were the biggest thing happening at the time.

    On a typical Wednesday night, the the bar would be totally jammed with people wearing plaid flannel shirts, baggy shorts over thermal long underwear and brightly coloured Doc Martin boots.

    But all I really wanted to do for my birthday that year was to have The Phantoms play at my bar. Who knows the Phantoms?

    They may still be around, I’m not sure – they were a great rockin’ blues band with an incredible harmonica player named Jerome Godboo, who my friend and I really liked.

    So, I booked the Phantoms for $1200. I made my posters, hired the sound crew, and took all of the promotional steps that we had been taking to pack the club with the alternative bands for the previous nine months.

    And nobody came. Literally. Nobody. I sold no tickets.

    All of my friends and family worked at the bar with me, so they were already there. But my usual alternative audience did not want to bother with a blues act, and anyone in town who might be interested in seeing a blues band either didn’t want to come to the grunge bar, or weren’t being reached by my usual marketing tactics.

    So it didn’t ruin my birthday, and the band was great and we had fun, but I did learn my lesson about violating some really straight forward event marketing principles. And that is what we are going to get into this evening. These are unchanging event marketing principles that scale down to a lemonade stand, and up to a major festival production.

    Ok, before we get started, lets find out if events would be useful for you in your work….

    Who here needs to drive revenue in their business?
    Who needs to help raise funds for a not for profit or a community project?
    Anybody here been thinking about building a really engaged and powerful marketing funnel around your business?

    Because these are the kind of things that event marketing is good for if you can keep all of your elements working in harmony.

    Now, before I jump into the what and how of taking your event to the next level, I want to discuss the ‘why’ and its importance.
  • It is so important to define your outcome.

    Set the plan – mark what the desired outcome is going to be. This will be your basis for measurement. Is it attendance, financial, awareness?

    If you are a small business, you might be looking for a spike in business revenue, create general awareness, build your brand or build up your permission assets such as list subscriptions and social media follows.

    You need to get clear on why you are doing this and then continually refer back to it as you’re building out your plan. Knowing your desirable outcomes is going inform many of the subsequent plans and actions you make and take.

    Lets look at a couple of examples”

    1- The event today. Why?

    To celebrate the anniversary
    To connect the membership and provide networking opportunities
    To build membership through promotion
    To generate earned media
    Build awareness for the DHSBA through social media engagement
    Provide educational opportunities for your membership

    2- Summer in the City Summer Concert Series – created as a way to revitalize downtown Oshawa – eventually built it into the Oshawa Jazz and Blues Festival…..

    You need to get clear on WHY you are doing the event, and what you expect to get our of it.

    3- If you run a small business and you want to run a sale at your store, just make sure you understand how much revenue that you are trying to drive, how many new contacts you want to add to your email list.

    When you understand what you are trying to achieve, every action that you take during the planning process should support these goals.

    Start with a event plan with

    Write it down! Its like any business plan….
    What are your assets?
    What are you selling?
    Who is your audience?

    And remember what we just discussed: what outcomes are you trying to drive?

    I like to use a simple excel template to capture all of these details with timelines attached.

    I am currently working on a book about event marketing and it is going to include a lot of downloadable assets such as sample event plans.

    - If you visit my website, kerriking.ca, and sign up for the email list by end of day tomorrow, I will send you a sample template that you can use.

    It’s a simple excel spreadsheet, but so many people have trouble organizing their thoughts. Even if you aren’t sure that you are going to do in a particular section, just make it up for now. Estimate it.

    Event organizers are definitely RISK TAKERS – however, it is important to take a calculated risk by clearly envisioning where you plan to go with your event if you want to get there.

  • Collaboration:

    Establish a “DREAM TEAM”
    Many hands make light work
    Target key collaborators who are talented, diverse, connected go-getters

  • “The Art of Shameless Promotion”

    -My husband Jason had “Shameless Promoter” as his title on his business card. I always loved that. It was honest. I am not sure that times haven’t change too much since the 1990’s…..
    When promoting any festival or event, it is important to start at the grassroots. (MoonRoom Reference)
    Rollerblading in downtown Oshawa – handing our flyers.
    Now, we have the opportunity to embrace digital media – things have come a long way since I launched my first company website in 1994. 20 years ago! YIKES!
    Some tactics that you need to be aware of:

    1- The importance of investing in good design
    2- The value of hiring a professional photographer to capture authentic photos. These photos are selling your event for you. They matter.
    3- Work with a communications professional who understands public relations.
    4- Engage and event co-ordinator ***If you don’t have the budget, improvise.
    - Connect with the local post-secondary institutions and find a keen, talented student.
    - Engage an industry mentor

  • Flawless execution is important, however, remember, when executing events, something will always go wrong. It is inevitable.
    The key is to keep calm, and keep smiling. Stay cool. Work with your team and you will find a solution.

    In short, flawless execution means execution that appears flawless to everyone except you and your team.

    Example – Great power failure…..Parkwood Event. Most memorable party ever. Thanks to Brian Malcolm from Parkwood, our event team, and our volunteers – the show must go on.
    Key is not to give up – Just improvise.

    And, Keep smilin”
  • Explanation of the bow-tie effect

    Earlier, we talked about how events can build powerful marketing assets for your business.

    This Event Marketing Bowtie Effect demonstrates how events can help drive revenue and build customer loyalty.
  • Measurement: This is where you determine if you whys are met. Your KPIs.

    - The great thing about the digital age, is that we can target and measure our marketing so precisely.
    With google analytics, online surveys, targeted facebook campaigns and contests, it is becoming easier and easier to measure our results.
    We can now measure our friends and likes on facebook, and our followers on twitter, instagram, and connections on LinkedIN.

    This applies to business in general too of course.

    How many of you are using digital media to promote your businesses or events?

    Even if you haven’t engaged in a digital marketing campaign, most of you have acquired contact lists and built email subscriber lists over the years.

    This stuff is gold.

    Just like any friendship, these lists need to be respected, maintained and appreciated.
    As most of you likely know, there is new legislation that requires us to opt into lists, so these lists are more valuable than ever.

  • -Get the buzz going for the next event!

    -Leverage future opportunities


    1- Say YES to opportunities! (I am reading a book right now called “The Power of No”, but in this case, challenge yourself to say yes to networking or speaking opportunities when they arise. Its always easier to stay home and relax, but it is so empowering and wonderful when you are able to share your talents and abilities with the world. In the end, you will be glad you did. Even if it is tough. You will end up being tougher.

    2- Start a podcast

    3- Start a blog

    4- Make friends with the media

    5- Say THANK YOU

    6- Build your contact lists and social marketing channels

    7- Share: photos with thank you notes,

    8- Host a lunch / dinner or party to thank partners, volunteers

    9- Appreciate volunteers by arranging to officially thank them with a letter from an elected official, an advertisement in the newspaper or a newsletter…or a personal phone call / or letter saying how much you appreciated the person or organization.

    10- Follow up. Follow up. Follow up.


  • Say thank you to your team, your volunteers, patrons and the community for being part of your event….

    There are so many opportunities here in Durham….

    In less than one year, the beautiful venue that we are sitting in today, will play host to the world for the Parapan Am Games next August.

    Part of our strategy at Durham Tourism is to develop a Region-wide Festival designed to celebrate the best that Durham Region has to offer.

    The dates have been set for this event for August 13-16, 2015. The Festival will engage all eight municipalities, and we will collaborate with art, cultural, sport and culinary and event tech groups in Durham like the Spark Centre to create an extraordinary legacy festival for the future.

    And I really want you guys to think about how you are going to be part of it. This Festival is for all of us.

    If you would like to learn more, you can go to durhamfestival.ca, and sign up for our Durham Tourism E-newsletter at durhamtourism.ca

    We will be announcing the festival at the Region of Durham’s 40th anniversary celebration on September 9th – and I would like to invite all of you to join us. Please see invitation cards that we have provided. We will have live music, a complimentary bbq, we will be launching our new Durham Region coffee table book, and there will be a special art unveiling which I am super excited about!! Its going to be a lot of fun. Book your calendar….it will be a great networking opportunity.

    Lastly, I wanted to let you know abut the national Culture Days initiative which takes place at the end of September.

    In Durham Region, we have about 30-40 small events being created for Culture Days which takes place across the Country at the end of September – visit www.culturedays.ca for more info.

    Anyone can participate as long as your event is FREE. This is a wonderful opportunity for many small businesses to showcase their offerings. You just need to be creative.

    Thank you.

  • Thanks so much!